1- Fever Tree(Vachellia xanthophloea):

This tree is often found near swampy areas and is fast-growing and short-lived. Its most distinguishing feature lies in the greenish tint of their trunks. Photosynthesis in fever trees is found in its bark instead of its leaves. These trees breathe through their bark! This is a rare occurrence amongst plant species. They are also a wonderful source of biodiversity. It is a food source for livestock, African elephants, giraffes, and vervet monkeys. Bees love the flowers, which provide nesting sites for birds, and many species of butterflies and moths use the trees’ resources.

Vachellia xanthophloea; By © Nevit Dilmen, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11266472
2- Whistling Thorn(Vachellia drepanolobium):

Despite its threatening look in its giant bulbous bases and protruding thorns, this East African native is more than meets the eye. Within the menacing bases and spines, live some species of ants! They have what is called a mutualistic relationship with the tree; this means that both the tree and the ants benefit one another. The trees provide shelter and nectar for the ants, and the ants protect the tree from various herbivores such as elephants and giraffes. The ants also burrow within the thorns, thus creating a musical instrument. Wind flows through the holes in the thorns and that is when we hear these trees whistle.

Aloidendron dichotomum; By Hans Stieglitz – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23314631
3-Quiver Tree(Aloidendron dichotomum):

Native to Southern Africa, this is a large succulent plant that would most certainly not fit on your desk. When adventuring in Southern Africa, don’t be fooled by this plant’s tree-like appearance; its trunk is actually not made of wood, but instead of a pulpy tissue, revealing it to be a giant aloe plant. Its name comes from the San peoples’ use for the plant to make quivers for their arrows. 

4-Reed Grass(Phragmites australis):

Unlike the grass that we might grow in our lawns, reed grass can grow up to 4 meters! It is native to tropical Eastern and Southern Africa. The tropical coastal forests of East Africa are under threat, and there have been massive ecological losses in the area. Native plants, such as reed grass, are important in keeping the natural ecosystem balanced. Reed grass, for example, can clean sewage water. Plants are responsible for more than just food resources and aesthetics, and water purification is just one example. Next time you find yourself staring in awe at a plant, ask yourself what else it might do for its environment. 

5-Lake Latumba Coral Tree(Erythrina schliebenii)-

Don’t fault yourself if you’ve never heard of this Tanzanian native because it has now been twice thought to be extinct! It is only found in the coastal forests of Tanzania and sadly remains critically endangered. The number of mature individuals in the wild is estimated at around 10-49! As suggested by the title, “coral tree”, this species brings you in with its eye-popping color. They have bright red flowers and spiny trunks.

Vachellia drepanolobium; By Chr. Kooyman – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27541373

Adumu Safaris - Tanzania South